The Tampa Bay Rays have informed pitcher James Shields that they will pick up the option on his contract for the 2013 season. The official announcement from the team on Shields will be released in the next few days.
Despite the Rays picking up the option, there is no guarantee that Shields will be on the team next season, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. His name will likely come up in trade rumors throughout the winter given the lack of top-flight starting pitching talent in free agency this off-season. Last season, Shields went 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA and pitched more than 200 innings.
The Rays also have to decide by Friday whether to offer options to pitcher Fernando Rodney ($2.5 million), designated hitter Luke Scott ($6 million, though they can pay $1 million to try and negotiate a lower-priced deal) and catcher Jose Molina ($1.8 million).